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Rockin' The Suburbs

Rockin' The Suburbs

10 Sep 2001
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 10 Sept. 2001
  • Release Date: 11 Sept. 2001
  • Label: Epic
  • Copyright: (P) 2001 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 48:40
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001GVPBLU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,319 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A terrific album! It's as if there never was a Five, or Three or Two for that matter. It's clear that it's really only been Ben Folds One.
This is emminently listenable and driven by the strength of Folds piano playing - in one breath delicate, moving and soaring, in the next aggressively punctuating his sardonic and humourous lyrics. The lyrics are honest and human. Folds speaks to us like only a handful of extraordinarily gifted song-writers: Colin Moulding and Andy Partridge of XTC, the guy from the Eels, Lloyd Cole and, I'm ashamed to admit it, but early Billy Joel from the 70s.
Gotta agree with Amazon reviewer; there's not enough good pop/rock out there that's got the piano as its centrepiece.
Personal faves amongst these tracks is Annie Waits, Still Fighting It, The Ascent Of Stan and Losing Lisa. But really there's not a bad song here.
This is a ultimately a personal and triumphant record that deserves to be added to your collection.
It would be great to hear this on radio. Radio 2 or even Xfm, are you listening?
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Format: Audio CD
BFF had a (deservedly) loyal fanbase, so I guess many of them would disagree with me, but in my opinion this is a better than any of those released by the 5. A mark of genius in songwriting is to make the complicated sound simple. Ben Folds does this time and time again on Rocking the Suburbs, as almost every track features some of or all of: weird chord progressions, modulation, huge wall-of-sound harmonies, intricate rhythms and awesome musicianship. The fact that it all fits together so seamlessly, that it sounds so organic and un-contrived indicates that this is a masterpiece.
The range of songs is fantastic. Many sound similar to his songs whilst with the band, such as Gone and The Ascent of Stan. However, it is on the barer, more stripped down songs where this album really comes into it's own. Still Fighting It, Fred Jones Part II and The Luckiest are three of the most gorgeous, heartrending songs you will ever hear. In particular, The Luckiest is love captured in musical form, and you would have to be dead inside not to empathise with the ache in his voice as Folds imagines never meeting his true love.
Any song I haven't mentioned is still an absolute gem, there is simply no filler on the album. The title track is often slated, given it is not typical Ben Folds fodder, but it is very tongue in cheeky and hugely catchy, and difficult not to like. The first two songs sound lighter, and have a distinctly pop edge to them, but again have hooks to spare, and taken in conjunction with track 3 provide one of the best openings to a record I've ever heard.
His next solo effort is imminent, so fingers crossed for more of the same.
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Format: Audio CD
This is by far the best record I have heard this year. Although I have always liked the "5", I found this album ensured that I became a real fan. Every song on this record is nothing short of fantastic, from the superb "Annie waits" to the beautiful, sad "Luckiest". Every track on this album has its own story, and each is excellent in its own right. Particular stand out tracks include the first track "Annie Waits", "Zak and Sara", and "Fred Jones II", the sequel to "Cigarette" on "Whatever and ever Amen" (an excellent Ben Folds 5 album). The title track "Rockin' the suburbs" is far from weak, and is an excellent break from the (beautiful) melancholy that consists most of the rest of the album. On first listen it comes across as an technically superb album, with some excellent hum along tunes. After a few listens, however, you begin to pick up the lyrics and see where its real genius lies. I would recommened this Cd to anyone, from existing ben folds fans to people who've never heard anything by him before but want something a bit different- and will surely become fans after listening to this record. I cannot recommened this album enough!
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Format: Audio CD
Compared to the Ben Folds Five records this is very much a studio album. This isn't the sometimes raw sound of his old band, this is the sound of a brilliant musician buffing a great set of songs until they positively shine. It's kind of cruel to point it out, but on this showing Ben Folds doesn't miss his ex-bandmates. He plays most of the instruments on this CD and demonstrates a mastery of them all. Even more than his work with BFF these songs have a personal touch and power than can really strike home. But above all, this collections of songs demonstrate that Ben Folds is a gifted composer and he can still rock a piano like no other
I'm loathed to pick a favourite ("Still Fighting It") and honestly can't pick a weakest track. There are no fillers here! Yes, the title track is a bit of a joke as Ben has a dig at American angst rock (despite what some bizarrely say in other reviews here, he's not talking about himself), but it's still a great track!
If you loved Ben Folds Five you'll more than likely love this. Personally I think it's every bit as strong as BFF's amazing first album. Ben Folds can and has gone on from strength to strength.
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Format: Audio CD
Having established a reputation as a talented writer of pop songs with his former outfit Ben Folds Five, Folds' debut solo album may take some people by surprise with its tender nature. 'Rockin the Suburbs' is essentially a collection of songs about personal anguish, from the girl waiting patiently for her date who never shows (Annie Waits), through to tales of religious exploitation (Not The Same) and unstable girls reliant on other people (Carrying Cathy). These songs are all light in sound, piano-led ballads most reminiscent of old BF5 songs like 'Brick', for some this will be a disappointment and certainly the first time I heard it I didn't find it instantly accessible.
On first play though there is one standout track, as just as the songs of one-night stands with girls who look like Axl Rose seem firmly in his past, Folds returns to familiar pop ground with the title track 'Rockin' the Suburbs'. Upbeat and poppy, with guitars and synthesisers, Folds offers a biting critique of the noticeably less talented of today's top stars. Although he doesn't name names, the remarkably clever styles of songwriting make it obvious who he's taken aim at: "Dunno how much I can take/Give me something I can break" is a good line, as Folds imitates thoroughly-whinging nu-metal meathead Fred Durst, and the bass solo at the end clearly takes a chunk out of KoRn. As all this is going on, Ben even manages to namecheck the people who *are* worthy of credit (Quiet Riot, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi).
To say that the best track on the album harks back to BF5 days should not take anything away from the rest of the album. Once you've heard the album through a couple of times, there are 5 or 6 brilliant songs here they just take time to grow on you, and I would easily recommend it to any Ben Folds Five fans or anyone into piano-led music.
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